Comprised of Joe Gillick and Sage Redman, FKL is the London/Seattle duo making pop more exciting. Atmospheric and evocative, their music is experimental and atmospheric – a constantly shifting palate of sounds. The pair met while studying at Goldsmiths before they had to give up their place in London and make the move to Sage's hometown of Seattle.
From Seattle they run their pirate network Orphan. Radio, broadcast from Capitol Hill arts space LoveCityLove and recently dropped their Out Of Tune LP via their label Orphan. Records.
Stream recent single “1-800” below and get to know FKL a little bit better.
To the uninitiated, how would you describe your sound?
Joe & Sage: We always say experimental or idiosyncratic pop. But it’s all really just bullshit isn’t it? We don’t know, and we won’t pretend to haha. I guess…. INCOHERENT POP.
When did you guys realise you wanted to make records together?
J: I wanted to make this record since I was 5 years old, and since I met Sage I knew I wanted to make it with her. We started making music together on the 2nd day of knowing each other. It really was instantaneous, and there was always a view to making something expansive. Our first ever performance was in our first week of University where we did a Matthew Herbert inspired choir+found-sound thing with a 10-piece choir.
S: Joe and I just clicked the second we met. We had similar taste but I don’t think that was even a reason. I was only a couple days into my move to London and something about Joe and his approach to the work felt familiar and inspiring at the same time. I don’t think we ever talked about making records together. It just happened.
What kind of music were you listening to when you made the record?
J&S: This is really annoying, but really everything… K Leimer, Mr Mitch, Robbie Basho, Cocteau Twins, Section Boyz, Yamaneko, Yussef Kamaal, Local Artist, The Knife, Babyfather, Anna Meredith, Giggs, Minor Science, Lanark Artefax, Mitski, Mumdance, Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Skee Mask, Trim, The Streets, Machinone, Cuushe, D Double E, Dark0, David Sylvian, The Rapture, Hercules and Love Affair.
You worked with Tim Goldsworthy, what was that like?
J&S: Fun while it lasted. He’s hard to get hold of, but when we did it was great. He gave us great stories about early The Rapture recordings, tracking Anohni with Hercules and Love Affair… His childhood with UNKLE co-founder James Lavelle etc... He helped us to not be overtly maximalist, which is our tendency.
We moved from Seattle to London - what are we missing out on?
J: The nature really… I mean the city aspects are a lot worse in Seattle than London. Less to do, less going on, less clubs and music etc… But the surrounding nature is unparalleled. It’s 30 minutes to drive to where they shot Twin Peaks… It’s 2 hours to Mt Rainier etc... etc…
You founded Orphan Radio out in Seattle, what do you love about the medium?
J: The fuckery. Just fucking about and creating new stories in mixes. Curating that story with the music you love and just generally shooting shit.
S: Joe grew up on radio - his dad started a station in Canada back in the day - and I interned at KEXP for multiple summers in high school. We had a show on Goldsmiths’ Wired Radio together in our first year of Uni called ‘Cool Story’. It’s just always been a part of our lives and we got deep into the pirate stations in London. We released a single on GETME! and guested on their NTS show a few times, performed on Radar Radio, and regularly checked out our local, Balamii, down the road from us in Peckham. The collective, inclusiveness that radio embodies is something that we wanted to recreate in Seattle.
Setting up a radio station, your own label - was it important to you guys to bypass the music industry’s traditional “gatekeepers”?
J&S: No, not at all. We have been close to signing with some of our favourite labels. At the last point after several meetings it would kinda flitter out when it was unclear what genre we actually were. We don’t think we have many options other than to keep believing in our visions and take matters into our own hands. We want to provide a platform for artists that have failed to find a more traditional home elsewhere - hence the name Orphan.
What’s next for you?
J&S: We’re doing a bunch of shows in Seattle with Shigeto, Erik Blood etc... We’re also writing our sophomore album in Hood Canal, WA at the moment. Just generally carrying on.
Out Of Tune is out now and released via Orphan. Records.